There are many reasons why a brand may deteriorate. Sometimes it is the product or service that has ceased to live up to expectations, other times it’s how the company delivers its goods and services. Regardless of which, it can be difficult for a business to recover from such a decline. But there are ways, and there are some things to consider before you take a shot at it.
Competition is stiff in today’s economy and the competition can be ruthless when they smell weakness. They will pounce upon any perceived opportunity to steal your market share or market position. A lot of companies can recover from a dip in brand equity if they are prepared to do the work, but you need to plan for your recovery and start early. There is no guarantee that you will be able to recover from brand deterioration, it all depends on how bad the damage has been and how quickly you take action.
First of all, it’s important to understand what it means when a brand deteriorates. A brand is more than just the name of your company, product or service. It encompasses every aspect of how you present yourself to the world and how consumers perceive your business. Brands can be injured by poor marketing campaigns, ineffective or abrasive customer service, poor employee training and a host of other things.
A brand can be damaged by actions that are expensive to correct or if you don’t respond quickly enough to changing market conditions. When a brand deteriorates it is because consumers perceive the company in question as offering them less value than they would like. They are no longer satisfied with the quality of your product or service or they feel you have failed to deliver on your promises.
When it comes to a brand, perception is reality and if your customers don’t perceive you as offering them value then they won’t be buying from you and your market share will decline. Not only that, but existing customers may defect to a competitor because they have lost confidence in you and the quality of what you offer them.
When consumers feel less satisfied with a brand then it becomes more difficult for the business owner to generate revenue and profits from their products or services. And as the market share decreases, so does the company’s overall value and ability to attract investors.
This is why companies need to be proactive about protecting their brand. It is one of your most valuable assets because it has a direct impact on sales revenue and profits. A strong brand will allow you to command a higher price for your product or service, but if you have allowed your brand to deteriorate then this will not be an option.
You can’t just throw money at the problem and expect everything to turn out right. It takes careful planning and execution of a recovery strategy that is designed to correct the brand damage and restore consumer confidence. It is important to start early in order to gain momentum and move quickly because time is of the essence when it comes to repairing a damaged brand.
The good news: there are a growing number of brands that have been around for decades and have outlived their competitors. These brands, like Coca-Cola, Levi’s and Budweiser, remain popular because they’ve managed to stay relevant in consumers’ minds despite changing times. In fact, many of these brands have been able to successfully reinvent themselves over the years.
So how do they do it? How can you resurrect a dying brand and keep it alive for generations? What are some best practices that will ensure your brand’s longevity, even in today’s fast-paced environment? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Keep it simple. I have a good friend who’s an advertising executive and he tells me that the best brands are almost always the simplest ones. He claims you can never go wrong with simplicity, whether it’s design or message or whatever else. And he’s right. Think about it: how many brands have tried to be too clever or at least attempted to go in a different direction just for the sake of being different? And that strategy usually doesn’t work because consumers don’t want anything complicated. They want simplicity, they want easy and they want to understand. If you can nail that, then you’ve got a good chance of having a successful brand.
Be consistent. Your message needs to be consistent. And not just on your website or in the workplace, but also with what you’re doing in social media and elsewhere in the digital world. Consistency is key and in a digital age, consistency has to be authentic. It’s got to come from the heart or it will just ring false and that’s something consumers won’t buy into.
Be bold. with your marketing message but always remain true to who you are as a brand. It’s easy to be distracted by the noise of social media and all the other things that are out there, but you need to remain focused on your core message as a brand. And when I say “bold” I mean telling consumers exactly what makes your product or service so great in an authentic and honest way.
Be flexible, but not too much. I know this might sound contradictory to the first point, but if you’re going to stay relevant in today’s market then you’ve got to be willing to change things up a bit while still remaining true to what your brand stands for. The key is to be flexible but not too much. If you change your message too much, then people won’t recognize what you stand for anymore and that can really hurt your brand’s longevity.
Nowadays it’s incredibly important to have a good digital strategy in place because social media has become such an important part of a brand’s messaging. But it’s not just about using social media; you’ve also got to be able to pull the right data out and use that information as effectively as possible in order to make good decisions based on what your customers are saying. That’s why I always say if you’re going to do social media, then you’ve got to be all in.
Be honest and transparent. Transparency is important for any brand or business because it creates trust, which is hard to come by these days. If a brand can communicate honestly and openly with its customers in an authentic way, then they’re going to build trust and that’s something you can’t buy. Trust is one of the most important things a brand has in today’s environment because without it, your business is dead in the water.
Be consistent with your message but don’t be afraid to change direction every once in a while.
So, in summary, if you’re going to resurrect a dying brand then you need to keep it simple, be consistent with your message but don’t be afraid of changing plans every once in a while and most importantly: always remain true to who you are as a brand and tell your customers exactly what makes you special. It’s easy to say but it’s hard to actually do. But, if you can manage all those things and nail them down, then I guarantee your brand will be around for years to come.